What I “tea” in a day
The inspiration for this blog post comes from fellow tea blogger Lu Ann of The Cup of Life, who basically invented this. It’s about “keeping track” of tea, because - as someone once said -“tea is more than just a beverage, it’s about noticing your own habits.” (*)
Today you get a glimpse of what a random weekday of tea drinking looks like for me. Every day is different. There are days when I don’t drink tea (I just drink plain water instead) because either I’m not in the mood or I want to avoid caffeine altogether. There are other days which are more “intense”, like last Saturday, when I was on a “field trip” and had a 4-hour long tea tasting with 15 different teas (next week on the blog).
Breakfast: Thé à la châtaigne, thé noir aux éclats de châtaigne Corse
Do you speak French? I don’t but my Italian helped me decipher it partially (and Google Translate did the rest). It’s a Chinese loose-leaf black tea blended with chestnut pieces and rooibos. One of my best friends got it for me on the French island of Corsica. I don’t enjoy flavored teas and this tea isn’t (lucky me!), it's just a blend of different components. The chestnut pieces were roasted over a wood fire and I like that it’s naturally sweet and comforting, a little roasty and slightly smoky. In the morning, my taste buds and nose are still asleep, so there’s definitely no need to waste rare teas for breakfast. I use a mug and a deep and large infuser basket to brew it because honestly, in the morning I’m so sleepy that I can’t handle anything more complex than that.
Afternoon: Organic Kumaon White
Sometimes I like a frothy bowl of matcha as a pick-me-up after lunch, but I’m tasting a new tea for the blog (sorry, no matcha today). I’ve realized that I need my “tasting environment” to be conducive and, most importantly, I need to be concentrated, especially when taking tasting notes. There are days when I have no clue how to describe flavor and aroma notes and days when it’s the easiest it’s ever been. I’m very sensitive to sound and a quiet environment is essential for me. I can’t play music in the background. Also, a minimalistic and de-cluttered environment can help me focus on the task at hand. It’s rather practical, actually. You want all your senses to be alert and not distracted by what’s around you. Sometimes I take notes in a notebook, other times I type them on my computer.
Back to the new tea I'm tasting for the blog, here it is.
Tea Name: Organic Kumaon White, Young Mountain Tea
Origin: Champawat Garden, Kumaon, India
Ingredients: white tea
Preparation Method: mug and strainer
Leaves/Water Ratio: 1 Tbsp tea leaves (2-3 gr) to 8 oz filtered water (236 gr)
Water Temperature: 170 F / 76 C
Steep Time: 5 minutes
dry leaves: vibrant forest green and light green, they look similar to a Chinese Bai Mu Dan but smaller and less oxidized (they have very few dark spots)
wet leaves: moss green with light brown bits, some unopened leaf buds, small leaves and leaf fragments
liquor: pale yellow
dry leaves: intensely aromatic
wet leaves: sweet, aromatic, slightly pepper-y
liquor: sweet, floral
liquor: sweet, notes of wild flowers and dried herbs, hints of dried lavender buds
MOUTHFEEL: medium bodied, sweet aromatic aftertaste lingers
OVERALL IMPRESSION: out of curiosity, I’d like to try and brew it in a gaiwan, higher temperature, shorter time, more leaves to water ratio.
Late afternoon and evening: Guten Abend Tee
No longer in the realm of Camellia Sinensis (and caffeine), it’s time for me to switch to herbal teas, unless I want to stare at the ceiling all night long. Tonight I’m having Guten Abend Tee (literally, good night tea), an organic herbal tea I bought in Austria. It’s a blend with lemon balm, chamomile, sage, lavender and hops. If I’m feeling adventurous, I will blend my own. I like the combination of tart hibiscus with sweet, peachy honey bush and rose petals. I never go to bed without a cup of herbal tea, I find it very soothing and it helps me relax.
What do you “tea” in a day? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments.
Thank you Lu Ann for inspiring me. You can read her post here.
You can find the Organic Kumaon White tea from India here.
Disclaimer: Organic Kumaon White tea sample provided for review. I was not paid to review it. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned.